With a wide range of historical architecture, public parks, quality museums, and a variety of attractions, it offers endless possibilities and is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. So let’s take a look at a list of 10 things you absolutely must do when you arrive in Amsterdam.
Post bakeries and cheeses
Taste more than just Dutch cheeses – choices from France to Norway. In addition to cheese, fresh warm bread is sold: with pumpkin and sunflower seeds and nuts. We also recommend trying delicate and delicious croissants.
View Amsterdam from the water
It is impossible to come to a city located on the water and not look at it from the water. The easiest way is a boat trip. You can also rent a catamaran and sail with the boats. There are about 90 islands and more than 1,500 bridges in Amsterdam – boat trips can be made at least every day.
There are more than 40 museums in Amsterdam – it will be interesting for connoisseurs of high art and lovers of modern interactive museums. Check out the Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt Museum, Rijksmuseum (the largest art museum in the Netherlands and one of the best in Europe). Also, there is the Hashish Museum, the Heineken Museum with fresh beer tasting, the NEMO Science Museum, the Erotic Museum, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Anne Frank Museum, and many more.
Feel the freedom in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the city of freedom. Be yourself. Do what you feel like doing (within the local morality). Feel it. Stop by a coffee shop if only for the atmosphere you can just grab a coffee. Also, marijuana is completely legalized here, so everything is sold with marijuana in Amsterdam: from magnets to lollipops and muffins.
Visit Red Light District
In the Middle Ages, the red-light district was called De Wallen. It was the center of the city and was riddled with canals and narrow streets with traditional bars. Now, probably, everyone who knows something about Holland and Amsterdam has heard about the Red Light District.
Prostitution in Holland has been legalized since 2000. Brothels are allowed but are strictly controlled by the government. All this does not apply to street prostitution – it remains illegal. The sex industry is quite profitable for the economy. For example, in 2010, the sphere brought the country about one hundred million dollars.
Remember that photography is unethical in the red light district.
Taste the food
Stop by Leidseplein and find a cozy spot – a whole block of restaurants from Greek to Indian are at your service. A great opportunity, being in the same city, to taste cuisine from all over the world. The Dutch tavern can be recognized by the Heineken sign and a large number of people inside. For local dishes, look out for herring, butterballs, and fries.
Go to the flower market
The Netherlands is the land of tulips. The Bloemenmarkt flower market is conveniently located on the ancient Single Canal and is open from Monday to Saturday. For over a hundred years, it has been extremely popular among tourists and residents of Amsterdam. It is the only floating market in the world.
Farmers from Holland had a hand in its creation – they traded the flowers they brought in boats every day. Now all the pavilions on the Single canal are firmly fixed and practically do not swing on the water, and the fragrant aroma of flowers spreads around the market. There you can also buy a large bouquet or take the bulbs home.
Find I Amsterdam letters
The huge letters appeared in 2004 as part of a campaign to improve the city’s image. There are three such signs in Amsterdam: on the square in front of the Rijksmuseum, at Schiphol airport, and a mobile version that moves around the city. In addition, I Amsterdam is printed on all souvenirs.
Ride a bike
Once in Amsterdam, walking is almost impossible – thousands of cyclists are better than any advertisement encouraging people to join them. You can feel like a local, crossing the bike paths surrounded by like-minded people and creating traffic jams with them. There are enough rental points. Moreover, there are even bike tours.
Get to know animals
The Artis Zoo opened in 1838 and is the oldest zoo in the country. You will need about two to three hours to visit the zoo, although it is quite possible to stay here for the whole day.
The area of the zoo is almost 15 hectares and includes aviaries and cages with 700 species of exotic animals and birds, many of which are on the verge of extinction. An important feature of the zoo is the presence of a large number of open enclosures, which are separated from pedestrians only by small ditches.
In addition to animals, here you can admire the aquarium with fish and pinnipeds, the second in the world by the number of inhabitants, and almost 200 species of unusual plants and insects.